DUBAI // A father who completed seven Ironman contests in seven days to mark the 40th National Day is taking on a new endurance challenge in the US.
Scott Ragsdale is planning to cycle 4,828km in 11 days, from the west to the east coast in the Race Across America.
"My oldest daughter is graduating from high school and it's essentially my gift to her to show her if you train and you're focused and put your mind to something and don't quit when the going gets tough, you can make things happen," he said.
"I am no one special. If anything I am a super-weak cyclist. I think I am more driven than most people because I don't want to wake up looking back thinking I should've, could've, and I didn't. We have to make our lives happen."
To prepare for the race Mr Ragsdale has spent up to 80 hours a week in the saddle, and put in an hour and half of core work three times a week.
It has not been a hitch-free training period - about two months ago, he fell off his bike and broke his wrist. "I was really tired and it was windy. I wasn't into it and wasn't focused. It was a silly fall," said Mr Ragsdale, a US expatriate in Dubai.
"I was lying there thinking, 'Oh good, I don't have to do this any more'. But another part of my head was saying this is a perfect opportunity to do it."
Although his arm was in plaster until last week, Mr Ragsdale continued training - even managing to complete four days of intensive work in the Austrian Alps.
By June 3 he will slow down his training before leaving Dubai three days later to be at the start line in Oceanside, California, on June 11.
Only 15 per cent of entrants complete the race and only 203 have done it within the permitted 12 days and four hours.
"My goal is to finish it in under 11 days. If I finish in 12 days four hours, I'll be happy," Mr Ragsdale said.
The race will take him through the Mohave desert, over the Rockies and across the windy Midwest with a final push up the Appalachian Mountains before finishing in Annapolis, Maryland on the Atlantic coast.
"I think I can do it but I have no clue because after six or seven days of only two to three hours' sleep a night I don't know how my body will react," Mr Ragsdale said.
"I'd like to think I will be positive and focused and driven but I don't know."